Can Society Function Without Respect?
Growing up I learned to be open-minded, listening to the opinions of those around me, and being exposed to new information and experiences. When I was younger, I was unaware of the amount of prejudice in the world, unaware of all the stereotypes and racial profiling, and unaware of all the hate. I grew up in a welcoming environment, in a city where diversity was welcomed and highlighted, something I do not take for granted. Only as I entered high school, I invested myself in the news and saw what was really taking place in the world. Like a slap to my face, my view of society and a happy world was distorted. With some of the main issues in the world, one can only wonder how much worse it would be if all citizens did not have any respect for each other.
Even as the world progresses technologically, and economically, society fails to progress along with it. There are so many people treated unjustly in the world, movements arising and protests being formed. People demand change for the injustice committed to them or those they know. For centuries now, women have been fighting for equal rights, to be treated with the same respect as men, and given equal pay; but they have not yet reached the goal that they have been fighting for. In an article written on January 4th, 2018, it stated that on average, women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, this gap being even wider for African American and Hispanic women (1). In addition to this, in 2017 many women decided to finally stand up against the mistreatment from their male counterparts and boldly spoke up about their experiences with sexual misconduct. Although many of the women who shared are associated with big media and tech industries, there are many more women who are working in other fields who have yet to reveal their experiences. In an article written by Sarah Ashely OÕ Brien and Julia Carpenter on CNN, they shared that female health care workers are up to 16 times more likely than workers in other fields to have a violent encounter with a client. According to a 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Labor, 88% of female construction workers experienced sexual harassment on the job. (2) Women should not be obliged to feel silent about their experiences, nor should they experience it in the first place. There is a reason why these crimes exist, but of course, if everyone in society had complete respect for each other this would not happen in the first place.
Some of the biggest disputes still continuing today are the rights of the LGBT community and immigrant policies. Since the election of Donald Trump, there has been a significant rise in the numbers of hate crimes in the United States. In a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the recorded number of hate crimes was 1,094 in the first month after Trump had taken presidency. Of this number, almost 800 of these crimes occurred at primary schools, secondary schools, and college campuses. (3) . In addition to this, not only have cases of hate crimes risen, but many people have reported encountering harassment from those who are anti-immigrants shouting slander along the lines of, ÒGo back to your country!Ó This has caused levels of fear to rise in the country about when the next public attack will take place. People should not be living in a nation where they are too afraid to speak up about their beliefs or their sexual orientation. America was the land of opportunity providing freedom to those who were trapped in war-stricken lands, or to those who were fleeing from religious oppression. How horrible is it that there are people who come to the land of freedom seeking opportunity only to be discriminated against and disrespected?
If there is no respect, then there is no love or care for those who are hurting; There is no aid being given to those in danger. Everyone has certain rights, beliefs, and moral values that they live by. People should be able to recognize that everyone is different and acknowledge that society is built upon a variety of cultures and ideas. Respect is vital in creating a healthy and thriving environment, and it is impossible for society to function without it.
© Hannah Yuh
Bio: Hannah is a shopaholic who suffers from compulsive buying disorder, especially on Amazon. If she isnÕt online shopping, sheÕs re-watching some of her favorite Netflix shows, or superhero movies. Despite her addiction to cherry vanilla ice cream, she is also a health nut who loves to run with her dog, Gonji.
1. Julia, Carpenter. "The Link between the Gender Wage Gap and Sexual Harassment." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.
2. Sarah Ashely OÕ Brien and Julia, Carpenter "2017 Was the Year of (certain) Women's Voices." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.
3. North, Anna. "The Scope of Hate in 2017." The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 June 2017. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.